Electrification of Heat – 1930s detached house heat pump installation

Joanne and her daughters live in a 1930s four-bedroom detached house in suburban East Sussex, England.

Joanne, Holly and Phoebe’s house previously had an oil boiler providing heat and hot water. However, they knew that the boiler was inefficient, would soon need some renovation to improve its performance and Joanne was concerned that it would not be easy to find spare parts because of its age. They decided to replace their oil boiler with a heat pump and reduce their carbon footprint.

The Electrification of Heat (EoH) demonstration project, funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), is seeking to better understand the technical and practical feasibility of a large-scale rollout of heat pumps into existing British homes.

The Challenge

The recruitment and installation phase of the EoH project ran from July 2020 through to October 2021, and despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, 742 heat pumps were installed into a broad spectrum of housing types and socio-economic groups, that reflects a representative sample of households across Great Britain.

The range of different heat pumps installed, included:

  • Low-temperature and high-temperature air source heat pumps
  • Ground source heat pumps
  • Hybrid heat pumps incorporated with a gas boiler
  • Some additional technologies, such as heat batteries were incorporated.

Householders were asked to reflect on their first hand experiences of taking part in the programme, including disruption during the installation work, thoughts on the noise and aesthetics of the technology and the outcomes for warmth and comfort.

The Solution

After carrying out a full inspection of the property, the installers suggested an air source heat pump for
the house.

The Outcome

Joanne, Holly and Phoebe are very happy with the new heat pump. It warms their home up well and Joanne also highlighted a significant improvement in the hot water pressure and temperature compared to the old oil boiler. Some other benefits of the system, according to Joanne, are the heat pump’s smooth and quiet operation and its environmental benefits.

The outdoor unit of the heat pump was placed in the garden and the indoor unit was placed in the utility room. No radiators or pipework needed to be replaced in the house.

Joanne has not found the heat pump to be noisy. In fact, she commented that it is actually a lot quieter than her previous oil boiler.

Read the Full Case Study

Joanne and her daughters, air source heat pump installation into a 1930s detached house in East Sussex, England.

Electrification of Heat Demonstration project

Reports, statistics and case studies helping to overcome barriers to deployment and demonstrating the feasibility of a large-scale roll-out of heat pumps.

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